The views from the top of the rocks that will leave you breathless, whitewashed churches with blue domes and glittering treasures left by the extinct civilizations are just some of the reasons that make Santorini always present in the most prestigious touristic charts. Officially called Thira, sunny Santorini is undoubtedly the most beloved island of the Cyclades Archipelago, located in south-eastern Greece in the waters of the Aegean Sea.
Santorini is the place where the largest volcanic eruption in human history (from what we know so far) has taken place. If there was anything positive that came out from that terrible explosion is that it made possible the creation of several islands – a whole archipelago – out of one big island. At the same time it was also created the biggest attraction of the location: the island’s caldera. In addition, tourists who are fascinated by ancient history can visit the Minoan artifacts and ancient ruins buried by the eruption.
Known for dry white wines, picturesque beaches and nightlife, Santorini is a popular destination for visitors who want to relax, or have fun. Here’s a top five suggestion list of what to do and what to see in Santorini if you want to discover the archeologist within yourself:
1. Ancient Thera
Situated on high cliffs that face the sea between the beaches of Kamari and PerissaAncient Thera exposes ruins discovered in 1900. Ancient tombs, monuments, remains of houses, churches and fortifications represent a wide and representative post-Minoan display of artifacts. The Roman Baths, the Greek structures of the fourth century and the altar erected in the honor of Apollo, which is adorned with drawings of the eighth century, are absolutely remarkable and preserved in great state. In order to reach the ruins, visitors can climb by foot, straight from the beach or take the bus, taxi or their private car.
2. Therasia (Thirassia)
the island of Therasia is the perfect destination for tourists who want to enjoy the sunny atmosphere of Santorini. The largest of the five villages on this adjacent little isle, also called Therasia, has only around 150 inhabitants. It is accessible straight from the caldera via a rocky walkway. The little island has the same architecture as the picturesque Santorini and the population shares the same customs and traditions. Whether you visit it in a one day trip or that you decide to organize your entire stay there, Therasia offers visitors an authentic Greek experience on the island.
It was once the capital of Santorini. The inner city is situated on a hill offering stunning views across the surrounding area. There are still remnants of a Venetian castle on top of this hill. Inside the castle walls there is a church which is believed to have been built in the tenth century. Relatively unchanged by the presence of tourists, Pyrgos site still has a good deal of medieval architecture. The village is surrounded by wineries that offer tours and free sessions of wine tasting. The wine reserved for dessert is called Vinsanto and is one of the best Greek products.
4. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera
Located in Fira, the capital of Santorini, the museum is the most important cultural attraction on the island. Opened in 2000, it holds treasures discovered on the Akrotiri site, including colorful frescoes. A representation of women picking saffron gives an insight into the life of that era. Blue monkeys are immortalized on other frescoes. Over time, in-depth researches have denied the existence of monkeys Santorini, which makes the existence of these frescoes a truly unusual purpose.
5. Kamari Beach
The biggest and most popular beach in Santorini is located near the village of the same name. The village and beach received its name from a small arch placed in between the rocks on the southern end of the beach, which represents a monument built in honor of the god Poseidon. This black sand beach is the most sought after on the island. It is crowded with hotels, bars and nightclubs. Besides sunbathing, scuba diving is also a popular activity.
But Santorini has a lot more to offer. It is a fascinating world-within-the-world and only a slice of Greece that, nevertheless, has its own identity. We shall help you discover other aspects of Santorini in future articles.
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